Kokomo Tribune; Kokomo, Indiana

March 10, 2014

Sports briefs for Monday, March 10

Kokomo Tribune

---- — Balentine earns spot on all-tourney team

ST. LOUIS — Kokomo High School product D.J. Balentine earned a spot on the Missouri Valley Conference’s all-tournament team for men’s basketball.

Wichita State’s Tekele Cotton was the tournament’s MVP and teammates Fred VanVleet and Cleanthony Early also made the five-player team after the No. 2-ranked Shockers beat Indiana State in the tournament final Sunday. Evansville’s Balentine and Indiana State’s Jake Odum joined the Shocker trio on the squad.

Balentine had a pair of big games in the tournament. In the opening round, he scored 30 points and dished four assists, leading the Aces past Drake 69-61. In the quarterfinal round, unbeaten Wichita State beat Evansville 80-58, overcoming Balentine’s 31 points and three assists.

Balentine closed his breakout sophomore season with team-high averages of 22.8 points and 4.2 assists per game for the 14-19 Aces. He earned first-team All-MVC honors during the regular season.

Western boys to play in sectional final tonight

Western’s boys basketball team will shoot for a sectional championship tonight. The Panthers (15-6) take on the host Indians (15-7) in the Class 3A Twin Lakes Sectional final at 7:30 p.m. The winner earns a ticket to the Kankakee Valley Regional.

Twin Lakes took a 62-59 win in the teams’ regular-season meeting on Feb. 8 at Russiaville.

Western will look to join Kokomo, Cass and Tipton as sectional champions.

Kokomo will play in the Class 4A Marion Regional on Saturday. The Kats (16-7) face Homestead (18-7) in the 10 a.m. opener followed by No. 4-ranked Fort Wayne North (24-1) vs. No. 3 Hamilton Southeastern (22-3). The winners will return at 8 p.m. to play for the title.

Tipton and Cass are set for the Class 2A Lapel Regional on Saturday. It’s Tipton (14-8) vs. Fountain Central (15-7) in the 10 a.m. opener followed by No. 7 Cass (20-2) vs. No. 3 Wapahani (22-1). The championship is at 8 p.m.

Breedlove wins 3,000 at national meet

LANDOVER, Md. — Kokomo High School senior Jeremy Breedlove won the 17- and 18-year-old age group’s 3,000-meter run at the USATF National Indoor Championship on Saturday. His time of 9:02.62 was a meet record and bettered his personal best by 15.48 seconds.

Killings takes 10th at NJCAA indoor meet

NEW YORK — Former Kokomo Wildkat Taylor Killings placed 10th in the 60-meter high hurdles at NJCAA Championships on Saturday at the New Balance Track and Field Center at The Armory. He turned in a time of 8.26 seconds. He just missed advancing to the finals.

Killings is a sophomore at Vincennes University.